Rio Tinto has completed the first phase of the major expansion of its integrated iron ore operations in the Pilbara, celebrating the milestone today with a ceremony at Cape Lambert.
The Premier of Western Australia, the Hon. Colin Barnett MLA, officially opened Cape Lambert wharf B (CLB) which will help bring the overall capacity of Rio Tinto's Pilbara iron ore operations to 290 million tonnes a year (Mt/a), the largest iron ore operation in Australia and the second largest in the world.
Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Andrew Harding said "The 290 expansion, the largest integrated mining project in Australia, has created the opportunity for Rio Tinto to deliver superior value to shareholders and customers. It is testament to our focus on value-driven growth at our low-cost operations.
"We have again demonstrated our project execution performance is second to none, delivering this expansion ahead of schedule and under budget. This disciplined approach has generated greater value through capital expenditure savings of US$400 million (100% basis), achieved mainly from our engineering and contracting strategies across this phase of the programme.
"By running Australia's lowest-cost iron ore operations we will ensure the benefits continue to flow through to the bottom line."
The CLB system delivered first shipment in late August. The safe and efficient ramp-up schedule is on track to reach a full run-rate by the end of the first half of 2014.
The phase two expansion of the port, rail and power infrastructure to 360 Mt/a is underway. A number of options for mine capacity growth are under evaluation including incremental tonnes from low-cost productivity improvements, expansion of existing mines and the potential development of new mines.
About Rio Tinto
Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and New York Stock Exchange listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.
Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, thermal and metallurgical coal, uranium, gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide and salt) and iron ore. Activities span the world and are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in Asia, Europe, Africa and South America.
For further information, please contact:
Media Relations, Australia / Asia
Office: +61 (0) 3 9283 3620
Mobile: +61 (0) 419 850 205
Office: +61 (0) 3 9283 3612
Mobile: +61 (0) 419 103 454
Investor Relations, Australia
Office: +61 (0) 3 9283 3063
Mobile: +61 (0) 459 800 131
Office: +61 (0) 3 9283 3628
Mobile: +61 (0) 417 401 018
Media Relations, EMEA / Americas
Office: +44 (0) 20 7781 1152
Mobile: +44 (0) 7920 503 600
Office: +44 (0) 20 7781 1623
Mobile: +44 (0) 7787 597 493
Investor Relations, London
Office: +44 (0) 20 7781 1178
Mobile: +44 (0) 7917 576597
Office: +44 (0) 20 7781 2051
Mobile: +44 (0) 7920 010 978
Office: +44 (0) 20 7781 1262
Mobile: +44 (0) 7920 587 805
Investor Relations, North America
Office: +1 (0) 801 204 2919
Mobile: +1 (0) 801 558 2645
High resolution photographs and media pack available at: www.riotinto.com/media